Halloween Hoot to haunt Beverly Hills

By: Brendan Losinski | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published October 23, 2017

 The Halloween Hoot in Beverly Hills allows children to do their trick-or-treating in a safe environment. At last year’s Hoot, the Baldwin Public Library staff dressed as the Addams Family.

The Halloween Hoot in Beverly Hills allows children to do their trick-or-treating in a safe environment. At last year’s Hoot, the Baldwin Public Library staff dressed as the Addams Family.

Photo provided by Rebekah Craft

BEVERLY HILLS — Beverly Hills is inviting local children to join in on some frightening fun with its 22nd annual Halloween Hoot.

The Halloween Hoot is an all-volunteer program overseen by members of the community and funded solely on donations, many of which were collected at the previous year’s event. It will take place in two parts Sunday, Oct. 29, at Beverly Park.

The first portion will begin at noon and allows children to decorate pumpkins, which will adorn the second portion of the event.

“Between 9 a.m. and noon, a lot of the volunteers show up, the pumpkins are delivered and the volunteers gut the pumpkins,” explained Trish Oen, who is helping organize the event. “Then the kids show up at noon to decorate the pumpkins. We then take them out on a hayride and place the pumpkins along the trail in the back of the park.”

The second part of the Halloween Hoot will be a trick-or-treat walk through the park trail at 9 p.m. This allows children to dress up and get their yearly candy in a safe and monitored environment. Among the participants are the Beverly Hills Department of Public Safety, the Devonshire Men’s Club, Premier Pet Supply, the Huntley Neighborhood Association, the Rusty Bucket and the Baldwin Public Library.

“This is our seventh year doing it. We participate in the trick-or-treat walk,” said Rebekah Craft, associate director of the Baldwin Public Library. “We do it every year. We set up our tent and we give out candy to the kids as they walk through the park along the trail, which is filled with the pumpkins they decorated earlier. Several local businesses in the area have set up booths or stations where the kids can trick-or-treat.”

Children will snake through the park visiting each kiosk.

“The trail goes around the back of the pond, by the sledding hill and through the woods, and back to the pavilion,” said Oen. “There we have cider and doughnuts, and there’s storytellers there who tell stories for kids. We also have Creepy Clyde, who sings and dresses up as a vampire.”

Each kiosk or installation will be decorated with a theme. The Baldwin library staff, for instance, picks a theme from a book or television show. In the past, they have chosen “Harry Potter” and “The Addams Family.”

“This year we are going with a ‘Charlotte’s Web’ theme. It’s the 65th anniversary of the book. Our staff will be dressed up as animals and characters from the book, and the tent will be decorated like a barn,” said Craft. “Bring a flashlight, dress in layers — it’s October in Michigan — and it’s great for kids of all ages. We see kids who are babies and up through middle school age.”

The event organizers are still looking for volunteers, particularly to help prepare the pumpkins for decorating. They will have to arrive at the park at 9 a.m. and can contact Oen at (248) 420-7663 if interested. She said this is a great event for a great community.

“Everybody decorates their kiosks and dresses up. Some of them have lights. It’s awesome what they do. One is set up like ‘Star Wars,’ one is decorated like a pirate ship — it’s really neat,” remarked Oen. “It’s all family oriented. It’s very fun. It’s kid friendly. There’s a lot of activities for the children, and it gets bigger and bigger every year. It’s not just village people who come — it’s people from all over the place.”